The 25 Most Influential Kingmakers in Consumer and Retailer Companies
10.29.2013: Earlier this year, we put together a list of the 25 most innovative consumer and retail companies —the CircleUp 25. Today we are releasing the CircleUp Kingmakers – 25 of the most influential “kingmakers” in consumer and retail. They are men and women whose names repeatedly arise in conversations with industry experts and consumer companies large and small. In researching this article, I talked with consumer and retail entrepreneurs, public consumer and retail companies, private equity firms, angel investors, and service providers including distributors, marketing firms and consumer focused consulting firms. And they are those men and women who in our opinion at CircleUp deserve to be included among the inaugural CircleUp Kingmakers.
Tech has its own lists of influential power players. Until now, there has not been an equivalent list in consumer and retail. We are including more than investors alone in the CircleUp Kingmakers, however, because in our industry kingmakers are more than just investors. They are connectors, brilliant thinkers, visionaries and retailers and investors-extraordinaire. And each of these traits plays into the ability to lead a brand to success. Every person on this list excels in one or more of these categories. Undoubtedly, there are countless others who excel similarly in these areas and who deserve to be mentioned in a list of this sort. Unfortunately, we have chosen to limit those honored to 25. – Ryan Caldbeck
#8. Andy Whitman, Managing Partner
2x Consumer Product Growth Partners
2x Consumer Product Growth Partners helps emerging, branded consumer product companies achieve their potential by bringing deep industry expertise and a capital infusion. Andy and team focus on food, beverage, personal care, home care and pet care companies generally with $2-25 million in revenue in the organic/natural, specialty/gourmet and ethnic sectors. 2x Partners has played a critical role in developing companies like Beanitos healthy chips, MegaFood whole food supplements, Orabrush tongue cleaners, Tasty Bite Indian foods and gDiapers eco-friendly diapers. Andy founded 2x Partners following his career with General Foods and Kraft Foods. At Kraft, he demonstrated his talent for growing the smaller brands that had not grown or been run profitably previously. Before raising the 2x Partners growth capital fund, he co-invested with Catterton Partners and helped grow Wellness pet food and Old Mother Hubbard pet treats into one of the largest CPG exits in the last decade.